Abilene Christian earned big bucks in brief March Madness appearance, school president says

School president says it's made $120M so far

Abilene Christian University delivered a shocking upset to Texas in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament before losing to UCLA in the second round.

While the Wildcats didn’t go far in their most successful run in the tournament ever, the school’s president, Phil Schubert, said Wednesday it appeared to be very lucrative.

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“So far we are close to $120 million-plus and we really haven't had time to tally up the totals,” Schubert told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Schubert explained how important the men’s basketball tournament is for the school.

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Abilene Christian's Mahki Morris (12) waves to fans as he leaves the court with Airion Simmons, center, Reggie Miller (10) and head coach Joe Golding, top right, after their 67-47 loss to UCLA in a college basketball game during the second round of t

“There are other places a university can make significant steps, but I'd say nothing compares to the level of visibility and market value that comes with men's basketball, at least for us,” he added.

Abilene Christian is never going to be able to compete with the blue blood college basketball schools on the national level (i.e. Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, etc.) when it comes to recruiting. But the big tournament upsets have proven to be extremely valuable in the long run.

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Last year, the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments were lost because of the coronavirus pandemic. The NCAA said the pandemic cost it about $375 million. The NCAA was set to distribute $600 million across 1,200 schools in all divisions but only distributed $225 milion.